Organized by the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), together with the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Sweden, the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the 13th Informal Seminar on Human Rights opened on October 21 at the Moltkes Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Speaking on behalf of the organizers, Philippine Foreign Affairs Adviser and Ambassador Rosario G. Manalo, delivered her remarks on the seminar’s theme "Human Rights and the Environment," which explores the protection and promotion of human rights in relation to the environment and climate change within the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) framework.
Ambassador Manalo, the current Philippine Commissioner of the ASEAN Inter-Governmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), emphasized that the Philippines has been at the forefront of human rights in Southeast Asia while it has suffered the devastating impacts of environmental degradation and climate change.
"I am sure none of us would dispute that the objectives of protecting human rights and the environment are interlocking, both ultimately aim to improve the conditions of human life. The right to environment and how it can be accommodated into the human rights theory should be explored further, and identify the issues and challenges confronting this relationship," remarked Ambassador Manalo.
The Philippine official expressed hope that the insights gained from the exchange of ideas among Asian and European experts could develop synergy that would integrate effective policies and strategies in mutually reinforcing protections in each field.
Hosted by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Danish Institute for Human Rights, the event welcomed more than 120 participants including official representatives from ASEM countries as well as civil society members dealing with human rights and the environment. Participants discussed key concerns of human rights and environmental protection, and developed policy recommendations for Asian and European decision-makers.
Ms. Ida Auken, the Danish Minister for the Environment, and Dr. John Knox, the United Nations Independent Expert on Human Rights and the Environment, were among the keynote speakers. Mr. Karsten Warnecke, Deputy Executive Director of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and Mr. Rolf Ring, Deputy Director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute were also in attendance.
Working group discussions focused on the interaction between sustainable development, environment and human rights; access to information, participatory rights and access to justice, among others.
Joining Ambassador Manalo in the event were the DFA’s Executive Director for European Affairs Marichu Mauro and Director for the United Nations and other International Organizations Shirlene Mananquil.
The Informal ASEM Seminar on Human Rights Series was initiated by France and Sweden at the 1st ASEM Foreign Ministers Meeting in 1997. The DFA joined the series as an organiser in 2011. The initiative promotes mutual understanding and cooperation between Asia and Europe in the area of political dialogue, particularly on human rights issues
Parts of or the whole information published on this page is likely to originate from Official Institutions like Governments, Ministries, Embassies and States. Its reproduction on this page does not constitute any endorsement from DiploNews and any of its affiliates and/or partners. If titles are sometimes modified for better understanding, the contents are reproduced exactly as delivered by the institution that first published it. To know the exact origin, click on 'view original source' at the end of the page. All information that originates from DiploNews is copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without written express authorization from DiploNews.